COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Tucked away in Monroe County is a small city on a big mission to support the local community and war fighters across the globe.
Just off Route 380 in Coolbaugh Township, Army insallation security keeps tight tabs on the goings-on behind the wire. The depot let Eyewitness News in to give viewers a glimpse of what they’ve got going on and what it means to the area and beyond.
“We’re a D.O.D organization, an Army installation and we concentrate on repair and overhaul of CECOM communications and electrical command equipment, here, for the entire D.O.D as well as support soldiers, worldwide,” depot commander Colonel John McDonald said.
It’s an installation that’s basically a city in itself with its own police and fire departments as well as water supply. Roughly 4,000 employees come to work at the depot each day, tackling hundreds of jobs to support our fighting men and women around the world.
Veterans make up more than a third of the workforce, veterans like Denise Pfister.
“Now I get to work on the units inside of the units that I worked on in the aircraft,” Pfister said.
Moving from the Navy to the depot was an easy choice for the Honesdale native.
“When I come here I don’t even feel like I’m working because I love what I do. I love electronics. It doesn’t feel like work,” Pfister said.
$800 million worth of renovations have been made over the last decade, helping to make sure those responsible for supporting the warfighter are better able to accomplish their mission.
“We did this to improve the work environment for our employees. Give them better lighting, air conditioning and just a better environment for them to work in,” civil engineer Chris Sheerer said.
Along with renovations the depot is focusing on sustainability, converting building to meet new standards for leadership in energy and environmental design.
“Here at Tobyhanna, we try to be good stewards of the environment. We try to stay ahead of the curve and on the cutting edge of environmental technologies,” mechanical engineer Peter Moore said.
McDonald says outreach to local communities has been a big focus in building new partnerships that help the region.
“As part of the NEPA Alliance and the nine counties in northeast Pennsylvania, what it means to us to be a part of that while having the support and love from the community and what it means to support our military? It’s just awesome. We’re just glad to be here,” McDonald said.
Moore understands the work he does from his internship to now has a major impact.
“Knowing that every day I come to work, everything that I do impacts someone whose son or daughter is serving across the world in the Army and rest of the military,” Moore said.
It’s a point of pride that so many veterans take off their uniforms in our area and have opportunities at the depot. As a Marine Corps veteran himself, Eyewitness News’ Kevin Hayes’ artillery math was less than practical for reporting, but technically proficient veterans have a big head start, here.
“As an aviation electronics technician, there’s really not much, in this area, for that type of job except here,” said Pfister.
That previous knowledge and experience is welcomed and respected at the depot because the quality of work directly affects brothers and sisters in arms.
“The equipment that we work on saves lives. We help keep the warfighter safe while they’re over there fighting on the front lines. If our equipment malfunctions, there’s a problem,” Pfister said.
Officials at the depot tell Eyewitness News there are opportunities for veterans and civilians with a wide range of specialties.
With approximately 4,000 employees and a $2.7 billion economic impact every year, the Tobyhanna Army Depot makes their mark on the battlefield and in our own back yard.